Porter & Sons.
(photo credit: PR)
Walking into Porter & Sons is like entering an upscale British pub, with its rich hues of dark wood, leather-upholstered booths, glass and brass.
Another dominant feature of the restaurant is the long bar, behind which are no fewer than 50 taps dispensing a professionally curated combination of imported and domestic beers and ales. (Patrons may request a behind-the-scenes tour of the impressive keg room.) With a total of 120 draft and bottled beers, ales and ciders, Porter & Sons boasts the largest variety in town. True to its slogan of “kitchen and beer,” Porter & Sons has a rich tradition of pairing beers and ale with food. Upon request, the knowledgeable staff can recommend pairings that complement each dish.
You may also request a taste of a beer first, if you’re not sure.
One good way to get into the spirit of Porter & Sons is to try the “beer styles tasting menu” (NIS 89) – six flights representing a range of brews: fruity beer with cherries and berries, Czech dark lager, German light lager, Bavarian wheat beer, London porter and a Belgian abbey ale.
A meal at Porter & Sons starts with a complimentary serving of the house beer bread, whose recipe is on the reverse side of the dessert menu.
It takes some willpower not to fill up on this dark, yeasty treat.
The categories of the bilingual menu are Small [plates] and Big, Salads, Sandwiches (including two hamburgers) and Made for Beer (sausages, fish and chips, and barbecued spare ribs). We were happy to follow the recommendations of the manager, Itai, of dishes made there that you won't find anywhere else.
Our first appetizer was the roast beef romesco (NIS 48) – rump steak cooked sous vide, then thinly sliced and served cold with a roasted pepper and almond relish. The meat, rosy pink throughout and generously seasoned with salt and pepper, is as good as could be found in the best delis. It is hard to imagine a better start to a meal than this premium roast beef with the distinctive relish and chewy beer bread.
The yellowtail carpaccio (NIS 46), meanwhile, was razor-thin slices of extremely fresh fish soaked in lemon juice and olive oil and topped with roasted cherry tomatoes and tiny stalks of baby asparagus. The white fish in the zesty sauce melted in the mouth and was complemented nicely by the red and green vegetables.
Our in-between course was the Roquefort salad (NIS 46): mixed lettuce leaves, pear, walnuts and crumbles of blue cheese in an apple cider vinaigrette. The huge salad represented a great balance of the sweet pear, sharp cheese, crunchy nuts and tangy dressing. (People who prefer their salads lightly dressed should ask for the dressing on the side.) Our first main course was the seafood mix (NIS 96): shrimps, calamari, mussels with artichoke, carrot and cherry tomatoes in an herbed white wine sauce perked up with pickled lemon. Served in a skillet, this dish was a hearty bouillabaisse, with the moisture from the seafood transforming the sauce into a broth that cried out to be mopped up with the last of the addictive bread.
A house specialty is the goose confit (NIS 88), a dish that is 48 hours in the making, cooked and then deep-fried in goose fat. The succulent dark meat under the crispy skin was nicely complemented by mashed potatoes studded with large cloves of roasted garlic, while a wild berry sauce further enhanced the poultry.
Another excellent option at Porter & Sons is the St. Maure hamburger (NIS 74), served not on a bun but on a bed of spätzle. The thick and juicy 300-gram burger was smothered in a savory cheese fondue that bathed both the prime beef and the crispy mini-dumplings underneath.
Desserts are crafted by a dedicated in-house pastry chef, who bakes a terrific, rich New York cheesecake (NIS 36). Another masterpiece was the 70% chocolate bar (NIS 36): layers of nemesis, mousse and truffle ganache accented with tuiles of toffee. This confection – not too light and not too dense – hit all the right chocolate notes, without being decadently over the top.
Porter & Sons has some attractive inducements: a variety of business lunches ranging from NIS 49-99, and weekday happy hours (5 p.m. to 7 p.m. or Fridays afternoons noon to 5 p.m.), offering all the beer you can drink for NIS 59 (or a 200 ml, glass for NIS 15).
The writer was a guest of the restaurant.
Porter & Sons
14 Ha’arba’a Street, Tel Aviv
Tel: (03) 624-4355